Road Trip Inspiration: Family-Friendly Properties to Visit by Car

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By Patricia Bech

It is a challenging time to holiday and get away from home. Many people have put their plans on hold for the summer as a result of the pandemic.

For many, getting on a plane is still not a preferred option. I have been missing carefree travel a lot, but I also want to prioritise my own health and the health of my family and friends at the moment.

For those thinking along the same lines, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on planning a holiday just because you are not ready to go to an airport yet.

If you want to set off on a road trip, there are many properties that you can explore by travelling in the comfort and seclusion that is offered by your car.

Patricia Bech Road Trip Guide to some of the best places to visit.
Road Trips are back! Patricia Bech, our travel correspondent, suggests some of the best to try over the coming months

I have rounded up some of the best places to visit by car as autumn is on the horizon.

These suggestions are thanks to some great recommendations that have been put forward by the villa holiday specialist, Oliver’s Travels. They have created a fabulous ‘Holidays by Car’ collection.

Road Trip Inspiration

Curated by Patricia Bech

Chateau Quatre Saisons, Normandy

Getting there: 50-minute drive from the Caen ferry port in Ouistreham, connected to Portsmouth.

Nestled within 60 acres of private woodlands, Château Quatre Saisons is within easy reach of the UK, just under an hour from the nearest ferry port. Ideal for families looking to keep fit whilst on holiday, it features its own gym, tennis courts and bikes for exploring the area on two wheels. Sleeping 10 guests, the chateau has a range of rooms to suit all ages including a twin room for the youngest guests. Families can also partake in a range of outdoor games including croquet, boules, and badminton.

Rates from £4,838 for a seven-night stay during October half term, sleeping 10 guests in five bedrooms.

Chateau Beaucharm, Champagne

Getting there: Five-hour drive from the Eurotunnel crossing in Coquelles, connected to Folkestone and the Calais ferry port, connected to Folkestone and Dover.

Located in the Haut-Marne department, Chateau Beaucharm offers a tranquil escape in an unspoilt area made up of valleys, forested trails, and quaint villages. The three-bedroom stone villa features expansive grounds for kids to roam free and has its own bikes for families looking to explore the rolling countryside.

Rates from £991 for a seven-night stay during October half term, sleeping eight guests in three bedrooms.

Blackstairs Mountain House, Republic of Ireland

Getting there: One hour and half drive from Dublin port, connected to Liverpool, or one-hour drive from Rosslare port, connected to Fishguard in South Wales.

Blackstairs Mountain House is ideally placed for families who love nature; it has a rural setting and is within easy reach of multiple mountain walks. I have written about Ireland often for my Patricia Bech Travel Notes and I love the country. This property is set on a hilltop within the ruins of a rustic farmhouse on the Kilkenny and Carlow border, the property offers striking views across Mount Leinster and the Castlecomer hills. For outdoorsy children, the opportunities are endless with cycling, white water rafting, and horse riding all offered in the area.

Rates from £2,307 for a seven-night stay during October half term, sleeping eight guests in four bedrooms.

Maison Charente, Aquitaine

Getting there: Five-hour drive from Le Havre ferry crossing, connected to Portsmouth.

Located in a sleepy hamlet of the Aquitaine region, Maison Charente lends itself perfectly to a family with young children. It sleeps eight guests in four bedrooms including one kid’s bedroom with twin beds. The property is dotted with baby friendly touches including highchairs, cots, a baby monitor, buggy and a baby bouncer. It also has a playroom full of toys for all ages and an outdoor play area. The owners provide a welcome hamper on arrival and can also arrange bike hire, babysitting and in-house beauty treatments.

Rates from £1,475 for a seven-night stay during October half term, sleeping eight guests in four bedrooms.

Villa Regina, Italian Lakes

Getting there: 12-hour drive from Le Havre ferry crossing, connected to Portsmouth, or 13-hour drive from Dieppe, connected to Newhaven.

Lying on the east shore of Lake Garda just above the Roman town of Brenzone sul Garda, Villa Regina is situated in a peaceful area with no neighbours in sight and one of the best views of the lake. Set on a 21-private acre estate, the villa is surrounded by ancient olive groves and beautiful gardens, with an outdoor heated whirlpool, hot tub and sauna. The lake can be reached by a 15-minute walk downhill where sporty teenagers can partake in a range of water-based activities including sailing, wind surfing and kite surfing.

Rates from £4,758 for a seven-night stay during October half term, sleeping eight guests in three bedrooms.

Watch highlights, compiled by Patricia Bech, of the properties that are recommended on Sloaney TV…

All properties come with Oliver’s Travels Book with Confidence pledge, giving guests the option to postpone their holiday to alternative available dates, up to 28 days prior to their holiday start date.

To book visit or call 0800 133 799. To see more of Oliver’s Travels Holidays by Car Collection, visit

Read the Patricia Bech Travel Notes at